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Berserker Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

259 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 259
Hads: 1,031
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 17.36%
Wants: 837
Gots: 280 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2005

Vicious and viscous, this menacing brew pours opaque black with a creamy maduro-colored head. Its aroma offers seductive whiskey, chewy red wine, dark fruit and lavish tobacco. Berserker Imperial Stout invades your taste buds with in-your-face flavor. Weighing in at almost 13% alcohol by volume, Berserker is completely out-of-control. Give it a good fight. Berserker Imperial Stout was aged in both red wine and whiskey barrels.

Original release of Berserker was at 10.4%, subsequent vintages have gone upwards of 12.7%. When reviewing, please list beer vintage and that vintage's specific ABV.

30 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 259 | Hads: 1,031
Photo of dar482
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark oil black with lovely huge dark mocha head.

The aroma has a sweet coconut, molasses, sweet maple syrup, vanilla, tons of that sweet barrel character along with sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, and roasty malt. It's such a lovely smelling beer.

The flavor is giving you tons of sweet chocolate, a bit of coffee, along with sweet vanilla and bourbon character. There's maple syrup sweetness that hits on the middle and then a dark deep molasses stickiness holds on the tongue. The oak finishes it on the end slight.

The alcohol is so darn well hidden on this. The mouthfeel is really luscious and creamy thing ever. It's so smooth and big on the tongue. A highlight of this beer.

This beer really one of the best bourbon barrel aged beers around.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle with speedwayjim, capra12, billyshears. Thanks to portable for the trade!!!

a-Gorgeous thick black with a thin tan head that can easily be brought back to life with a glass swirl.
s-Hoppy stout...licorice sweetness, i can smell the heat on this one.
t-Tastes thick and filling and pretty much follows the nose. Fantastic, but a bit overly rich and hot.
m/d-Really thick and Really rich. Glad that this was shared since it would be a bit much to take on alone.

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Photo of gford217
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle courtesy of alaskajoe and NoonanDBarbarian poured into a snifter.

Pours about as beautiful as I've seen in a stout, with a pitch black body and big two-finger mocha head that hangs around as cap for ages and leaves great lacing. Gorgeous.

The aroma is a mixture of sweetness and dark roasted malts. The sweetness takes the form of chocolate, licorice, dark fruits and hints of vanilla. There is a bit of roasted coffee in the nose as well, but the sweetness is dominant.

The big dark roasted malts really come to play in the taste and underpin everything else. There is the sweetness of the dark fruits with vanilla, caramel and lots of chocolate. The finish has the roasted coffee bitterness with a very, very slight woody character.

The mouthfeel is decadent - thick and creamy like a rich chocolate dessert. Sticks all over the palate.

This is one fantastic stout and one of the best beers I've had in quite a while. For such a massive beer, it's very drinkable and the ABV was hardly noticeable. Highly recommended!

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Photo of illidurit
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy bret27 at Woodshop 5.0. Pours black with minor dark brown corners and leaves scotch-colored legs on the glass. Aroma is big on chocolate graham crackers and charred malts with wood and vanilla from the barrel aging. Flavor is deep and roasty with super-dark chocolate, iced coffee, ash, smoke, deep dark fruits, and a smooth bourbon character. Huge body and really flavorful. An asswhipper for sure.

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Photo of Pencible
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured an opaque pitch black with a little bit of very dark tan head. It smelled like molasses and brown sugar, with some sweet bourbon and milk chocolate and cream and raisins. It tasted like caramel and molasses and brown sugar, with some roasted coffee and cream and maple, and a bit of milk chocolate and alcohol. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste with slight alcohol warming. Overall this had a great scent and taste with good body. However, the alcohol was a bit noticeable, which combined with the bold taste to make this a sipping beer. I didn't notice much oak taste, and it was much sweeter than most stouts. But this was still a fantastic brew that will probably improve with further age. (I forgot to check if this was the 10.4% or 12.7% version.)

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Photo of Rutager
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Bottle at Brouwer's cafe.

Appearance. Pours thick and black with a skim of tan head.

Smell. Molasses, wood, black licorice, rum and dark malts with a little fudge.

Taste. Chocolate fudge and molasses, toasted wood and licorice root, dark and maybe lightly smokey malts.

Mouthfeel. Full body, maybe on the lower side. Boozy warmth and low+ carbonation.

Overall. Nice big stout. Didn't get much maple, but very tasty and lots of molasses.

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Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours basically black in color with some dark brown around the edges. The brown head was short and dense and settled into a light ring.

The aroma is of a heavy roast with some burnt toast and anise. I pick up some boozy red grapes and light bourbon. Faint tart aroma from the oak. Molasses and vanilla help round out the aroma.

The taste is quite bold and has a strong RIS body. Big ole roasted flavor with charred wood, anise and perhaps a subtle hint of smoke. The beer has that boozy red grape flavor that is frequent in the style. The maple syrup and molasses provide a big shot of sweetness. I would say that molasses stands out more than the maple syrup. The bourbon flavor is subtle, could be a little lost amongst the other bold flavors.

The beer is thick with enough carbonation to breakup the body without affected the smoothness. It is sweet and roasty bitter on the palate. It is a bit too sweet and the ABV can pop through. Has a sticky finish.

Very good stout, stays true to its RIS roots. Probably one of the more roasty BA stouts that I have had. I would like to see the bourbon stand out a bit more with less sweetness. Definitely worth a purchase.

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Photo of DmanGTR
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've had in a while. So big. Pitch black with a thin tan head. No light trickles through at all. Huuuge nose of leather, dark chocolate, robust coffee, hazelnuts, maple, vanilla, molasses cookies, and awesomeness. A silky smooth texture rounds out the whole thing into pure bliss.

Thanks Joe for breaking this out.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 bomber into a 3F wine-style glass. Big thanks to Tony.

A: Pitch black body with a thin head of fine brown foam that settles into a ring and leaves some delicate lace. Nice.

S: Sweet, roasty, oaky, spiritous, and rich. Dark chocolate, bourbon, char, raisins, and molasses. Dark and intense.

T: Follows the nose. Crazy collage of intense flavors: molasses, red wine, grape skin, bourbon, tobacco, dark chocolate, charcoal, and boozy bitterness. A little much, but really enjoyable.

M: Rich, full body with lots of carbonation. Maybe a little too frothy, but pleasant.

O: Really enjoyable, but a little rough. I'm loving a third of the bottle, but I can't imaging drinking a whole one.


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Photo of FLima
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not sure how old it this, I have been guarding this for around a year.
It poured like petro oil in color and texture with a thin very dark caramel head with short retention, but with an eternal ring of the same color. One of the most opaque black beers I have seen. By moving the glass to sip it, it produces a brown mantle to cover its walls.
Delicious aroma with tons of coconut, coffee, dark chocolate, anise, molasses, chewing tobacco, oak and some bourbon.
Roasted flavor with notes of coffee, burnt coconut, charred wood, dark fruits juice, molasses, charcoal, some bourbon, maple syrup, earth, cocoa powder, vanilla, tobacco, Port wine, cinnamon, anise and soy sauce. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness and residual roasted notes.
Quite viscous and dense body with mild carbonation of tiny bubbles giving a velvet sensation. Alcohol of 12.7% abv feels much lower and it has a delayed warming sensation.
Wonderful imperial stout, incredibly complex with a nudity of flavors. You can certainly feel the notes I mentioned above. At some point I had to stop digging flavors. The balance here is between the sweet and roasted notes, not so much the hops. The bourbon or barrel related notes are definitely not over whelming.
I guess this would be even better on Alaska’s weather.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.46/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split with SneezyAchew and AutumnBeerLove. Thanks for sending me this one, shawnm213. Ax label.

A: Pours near black with a thin dark brown head that faded into a faint collar. This beer is very thick looking.
S: I get rich notes of black licorice, molasses, dark chocolate and a hint of soy sauce.
T: Molasses and chocolate come through strongly with wood, char, soy sauce, and licorice bringing up the rear. I’m not really getting much of a barrel quality in this one. The soy sauce was thankfully light but it was disappointing.
M: Thick body, medium-low carbonation, with a thick and chewy mouthfeel. The alcohol is masked extremely well.
O: Good but underwhelming. I wish more of the barrel aging came through. Flavors were good though regardless, except for the soy. I bet this would be great fresh. Thanks again, Shawn.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.38/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1621st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter

2012 Release
Purchased from El Cerrito Liquor, Corona, CA

App- This poured out pretty much the darkest beer I have seen before. They werent lying on the bottle. It actually poured like oil and had no light penetration and only a small 1/4" head with no lace or cling. Maybe a small ring of bubbles.

Smell- This was a bit all over the place. Upfront I get most of the molasses and the sweetness from the maple. I do get tinges of smoke, malts, oak and wood. This has a bit of a rough aroma with everything competeing and not working cohesively.

Taste- This thing was solid, but not great. The molasses I think is what throws me the most. It brings a certain sweetness and chewy candy like flavor. The oak has a lot of char and licorice behind. Big thick malts and a little bit of smoke layer well, but not integrated enough to make it super smooth. Its drinkable for the 12% but thats not the biggest flaw. Just not the best tasting BA Stout.

Mouth- I dipped my finger into this to give my son a taste and my wife said WTF is that? It was the same color on my finger. No dissapation of color. No losing of the body. Very full and viscous. The carbonation was a medium low and fairly creamy. The residual flavors are of the molasses and the oak.

Drink- This was an interesting stout to say the least. A lot going on and fairly balanced. The more I took a sip the more I realized that its just above average and not for me. I was excited to try this one and well guess I can skip the next release.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle is notched that it was made in August "1". Which I think is 2009. The ABV is noted on the label as 12.7%. Thanks to the folks at 99 Bottles in Federal Way, WA. Great store and a must visit for me on all trips to the Northwest.

Wow, pours thick and luscious. A creamy tan head forms and shows some decent retention. No light getting through this black oil like colored beer. Actually more deep brown.

Aroma is heavy and of molasses, dates and dried figs.

What a great flavor. Dark chocolate with a lot of complexity just below the surface. Molasses again, vanilla with a hint of licorice. Not sure I'd call out Maple if I didn't know it was added here.
As it warms, there is a greater sense of the Oak Barrel aging. Aftertaste is like a chocolate milk shake. You would never guess this is at 12.7% abv

Nice and thick mouth feel with a very thick body. Velvet like. Almost milk shake like.

A wonderful beer to sit and enjoy. I'll have to source another bottle this fall. Excellent beer!!

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012. 12.7% ABV

Pours a viscus black, dark tan head, frothy, lacy, and creamy.

Aroma of coffee, fudge, vanilla, oak, bourbon, booze, and chocolate covered raisins.

Roasted taste, with cocoa, and touches of espresso. Light bourbon, with maple-y finish, oak and sap. Alcohol is there, but svelt all things considered.

It's vicious. Thick, chewy, and syrupy. Coats, sticks and has epic substance.

Can't deny this pedigree!

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Photo of birchstick
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black in color with a nice brown, taupe head.

S - chocolates, bourbon, maple, vanilla are all over the nose - lots going on, which is always a good thing

T - starts off with dark chocolates on the front of the tongue. These move on to spicy bourbon and vanilla notes imparted from the barrel aging. Some molasses and a touch of cinnamon are in the mix as well. Really nice complexity on the tongue!

M - medium body and light carbonation; a little dry on the finish

D - really solid RIS by MS. Lots of nice complexity and flavors in the mix here. Highly recommended if you can get your hands on it.

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Photo of tpd975
4.69/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge Thanks to Gillard for bringing completing a trade to bring this one from the great white north.

A: Pours a very dark black hue with a small creamy head. Very oily, it coats the glass with each swirl. The retention is low, but it does manage some spotty lace.

S: Bold chocolate aromas waft from the glass. Hints of creamy milk, vanilla, and coffee.

T: MMM good. Bold chocolate upfront, with a nice sugary sweetness, almost browine like. Roasted malt are there as well along with a dash of creamy butter milk. Light oak makes an appearence with a bit of earthiness.

M: Full bodied, rich, smooth, and creamy. What a wonderful brew.

D: If I had the chance I would put a bomber down all by myself, but this one is hard to come by, and is to be shared which I am indebted to Ryan for doing.

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Photo of alexgash
3.8/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Edition, served at 55 degrees F.

Viscous, inky black body supports a dense, concave, dark brown head. Good lacing. Sweet and tart fruits: plums, grapes, dates, figs. Smoke, leather, and light oak mix with creme brulee, cocoa, milk sugar, alcohol, and light espresso. Complex and inviting.

Singed, roasted bitterness greets the tongue. Smoky, peaty roasted malt base meets dark fruit sweetness and alcohol. Light chocolate notes follow into a bitter, hoppy finish. Warming. Alcohol sting is a little too noticeable/hot. Otherwise not bad. Body is a tad thin for the style with a little too much carbonation (i.e. not creamy enough feel). Still, a pretty good tasting and drinking RIS.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, two finger deep brown head.

S-Slight bourbon, oak, roasted malt, some chocolate and maple.

T-Slight oak, bourbon, maple, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, nice balance.

M-Semi heavy, tad creamy not much carbonation.

O-A really good beer but the beer just can't seem to compare to the many other BA stouts out there.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many, many thanks to paulys55 for this bottle!

A - Poured pitch black with about 1/4 of creamy, toffee colored head and no carbonation.

S - Charred/smoked oak tannins, tobacco peat, dark fruit, molasses, dark roasted chocolate, and mild alcohol presence (for such a big beer).

T - Smoke, oak, maple, bourbon, molasses, roasted bitter chocolate, dark cherries, and alcohol effervescence.

M - Thick, viscous, sticky, slightly syrupy, sticky.

O - Letting this beer sit in the glass for 30+ minutes and warming to room temperature really opened this up in an incredibly complex way. In fact, if I ever have the opportunity to enjoy another bottle of this I will most likely pop it at room temperature instead, far better.

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Photo of hopdog
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle acquired in trade with puzzl (thanks!!!). 2007 vintage.

Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized light brown head. Aromas of roast, vanilla, chocolate, oak, light coffee, and dark fruits. Tastes of roast, vanilla, wood, dark fruits, and chocolate. Creamy and smooth body. Alcohol content well hidden. Nice.

Notes from and tasted on 7/4/07

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Photo of Brent
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blinfolded, I would probably have tagged this as Stone's Russian Imperial Stout, which isn't a bad thing, since I think that is an outstanding beer, as well. Nice, bold roasted malt with a substantial hops backbone to cut the malt. A little oily in the mouth. The label reminded me of my Molly Hatchet-listening days many moons ago. If only I'd had the good sense to drink beer like this back then.

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Photo of anteater
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle

A: Oily black with a really good looking dark brown head

S: Bourbon, bitter dark chocolate

T: Really rich flavors of bourbon and bitter dark chocolate dominate, hints of espresso and molasses more at the end. Well hidden 12.7% alcohol

M: So thick and so good

O: I think this is better than a lot of the most highly rated bourbon barrel stouts out there. Lots of really well balanced and strong flavors

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beer #1000!

A: Pours a monstrous deep black color the consistency of motor oil. One of the darkest heads I've ever seen, the color of mud, forms and then gets sucked right back into the fluid. Looks amazing.

S: Deep and inviting notes of molasses, dark chocolate, wet earth, cola, dark chocolate covered cherry. Booze, charred oak and bourbon hang on the periphery.

T: Opens with a smooth wave of molasses, dark chocolate, fudge, charred oak and tobacco. Finish brings some wet earth, light bourbon and ash. Just a hint of booze on the finish, but otherwise incredibly smooth for the ABV. Mouthfeel is velvety, with just a hint of dryness from the alcohol. Definitely Abyss-like to me. A really incredible beer.

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Photo of Dope
3.49/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not sure what year this is, no sign of a date. I believe 2012? 12.7% ABV

A: Thick pitch black pour. Big dense dark brown head. Very dense. Head away in a very dense and fluffy manner (if that makes sense). Heavy walls of lacing. Great retention.

S: Interesting. Mellow bourbon with burnt sugar and caramel. Oaky. Heavy, sweet molasses. Dark chocolate. When swirled I get a strong fruity wine aroma. Maybe a bit of savory umami in there too? A lot going on.

T: Very interesting flavor. It's bourbon and wine battling it out in the beginning. Dark fruits and almost tart berries duking it out with burnt sugars, toffee and molasses. Some chocolate and char mixing in too. Chalky charred oak in the finish with hints of smoke. Light chocolate and umami...burnt meat really... lingers between sips. Red wine really layers over everything once it's warm. Pretty boozy.

M: Big, heavy, thick, etc. A bit chalky.

O: I rarely say this, but almost a little too much going on here. Roasted malt of this stout takes a backseat to lots of bourbon barrel character, wine barrel character and molasses. I prefer a strong roasted malt character in my stouts, myself. Did not get any maple syrup in this one either oddly enough. Having said that, very complex and surprisingly balanced. Just not quite my forte, especially since I'm not a huge red wine fan and this one has a surprising amount of it.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into tulip on 10/30/09. Huge thanks to KRAMER17801 for sharing!

A - Exited the bottle an oily black body with perhaps the darkest head I've ever encountered... an extremely burnt, dark brown mocha-colored frothy dome that reduced to a patchy veil, leaving behind some strands of lace.

S - Initial aroma combines chocolate and molasses notes with a hint of soy sauce, a slight meaty character and roasted coffee beans. A hint of earthy hops are buried beneath the complex malt profile and barely scrapes the surface.

T - Flavor is quite roasty with a prevalent coffee presence as well as dark bitter chocolate and earthy hop notes. A hint of smoke and charred wood emerges mid-way, and even some soy sauce creeps into the equasion. The alcohol remains well-concealed for such a monster beer. Finishes with a hint of earthy, herbal hop bitterness.

M - Full bodied with a thick, viscous texture and subtle carbonation, resulting in a very oily mouthfeel. Finishes with a mild earthy hop bite and moderate alcohol heat on the palate.

D - Berserker is about as complex as you can get with an Imperial Stout, and this one remains quite drinkable despite its 10% plus ABV weight. My love for you is like a truck, BERSERKER!!!

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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.